This morning I pulled a cup out of the very back of the drawer. There were many cups in front of the one I chose, but I wanted just the right size and thickness. You see, I like thin cups, thin feeling plates and silverware. Weird I know, but it is what it is. Now on to the coffee.
I put the cup on the counter and proceeded to pour in my cream as my fresh brewed Costa Rican Roast filled my senses with a promise to wake me up at first sip.
As I did this, I noticed some small black flecks in the bottom of my cup. My first response was to think the flecks were ants. I quickly stopped pouring my cream and peered into my cup with dismay.
Yuck, ants in my cup? How could that be? I tilted the cup to see what insect had the nerve to mess with my morning ritual. Much to my surprise there were no ants or any other insect in my cup, only small black flecks of ceramic paint embedded in the bottom and covered with glaze. I sighed with great relief knowing there were no ants in my house or my coffee.
Once my cup was filled with coffee I began to think a little bit deeper about my non-existent ants. I pondered how I so often immediately think of the worst case scenario without even pausing to consider another possibility.
The flecks in my cup looked like ants; therefore, they must be ants. In fact, I almost poured the cream out before I decided to take a closer look. If I had done so, I would have wasted some good cream and delayed my first drink (which is always the best) by having to start the process one more time.
What started out as a simple routine cup of morning java became an instant lesson on perspective. I learned not to jump to conclusions based on past experiences without finding out if what I perceive in any given situation or about another person is actually what is. Better to give the benefit of the doubt.
If ants can be flecks of artistic expression in an old coffee cup, how much more can other things and people in our lives be if only we choose to look a little deeper?
Simply put, I chose to perceive something formed in my lovely ceramic cup as an artistic expression to be an evil invasion rather than a good thing created to bring beauty. In a sense, I called good evil.
We, as Christians, often look at what we consider as quirky traits in others and because of our own past experiences we see ants and not the unique artistic expression of Christ in their makeup. And when we perceive flecks and specks to be ants, it is easy to just pour out the cream and start all over with someone else. After all, our new relationships and situations won‚Äôt have any ants, specks or flecks in their cups. Right!¬† Sure! If only this were true, grass would actually be greener on the other side.
Until flecks are really ants and the grass is actually greener on the other side, join me in not being quick to jump to conclusions or judge prematurely.
Join me in looking a little deeper before taking the giant leap to discard or do away with all that has been poured into a relationship or situation in just because a fleck resembles an ant.
Join me in looking a little deeper with an expectation to see artistic beauty. When you do, drink deeply and you will be awakened to a whole new perspective‚Ä¶a perspective of how mercy triumphs over judgment…of how life is better with a few flecks in it.
Brenda Craig, Spirit Food For Life ¬© Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved